Tension Question

I am JUST starting out knitting - as in, my friend is supposed to be showing me some things next week, but I just can’t wait that long! I have size 15 needles and a super thick yarn, and I’ve been watching the videos obsessively trying to get it right.

My problem (or at least the biggest one I can figure out right now) is that I don’t really understand what “tension” is referring to. I know it will take me a long time to get it right, but right now I’m not even sure how to TRY to improve it. Is it the tension on the yarn in my hand that is about to be knitted? Or is it the tension of the stitch itself when it’s done? How do I change my tension on purpose? The middle stitches seem to be ok, but my end stitches are REALLY loose, even though they were all pretty close to the same when I cast on.

For reference, I’m following the videos for the long-tail cast on and continental-style knitting, and I’ve only practiced the knit stitch so far - giving me garter stitch, if I follow correctly. Sorry if this question has been addressed before - if it has, I can’t find it.

Thanks for the help!

Tension is how tightly you hold the yarn as you are knitting it, that will affect how tight your stitches are. Everyone is different in how much tension there is in the yarn you are feeding to the needle. That will affect what size needle you choose to make up a pattern. Someone who holds the yarn tightly will generally need a larger needle size to make gauge in a pattern than will someone who holds the yarn loosely.
As your skill improves you will even out the tension more in your stitches and will not have so much variation from the ends to the middle. We all deal with the variation and most will just give a little extra tug on the yarn when knitting the first few stitches of a row. Congratulations on learning a new skill and best of luck. There is always someone here to help you advance your knowledge.

Welcome to knitting and to KH!

Thanks for the welcome! I’ll keep working - I can see how this draws you in!